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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Worldbuilding: Maps

Hi everyone! Good news: I finished NaNo early this year. It energized me with a new story that has been aching to be told for years, an urban fantasy that is very different from the YA high fantasy I typically write. So I stuck it in a drawer until I can come back to it with fresh eyes unclouded by the quantity-over-quality madness that cheerfully defines NaNoWriMo. I'll be back later this week with more notes, finally, but yesterday a conversation on worldbuilding at Magical Words led to the discussion of maps, so I thought I'd talk about that first.

I love drawing maps. It's about all I can draw (hence why I consider myself very fortunate to have artist friends who can do better than I when it comes to character sketches). But I love it.

Passions can wax and wane, but I believe this one will always stay with me. Aside from knowing not to put a searing desert beside a frozen tundra (okay, and being able to describe geological features through the eyes of my characters), this has to be the biggest and best use of my Geography degree.

I've been focused so much on revising and writing lately, especially as I prepare Sign of the Star for submission to agents, but it was nice to remind myself of this. I'll be re-drawing the map of Nem soon to fit all of the changes made to the story since it was first created. I can't wait to get started again.

Map for the webcomic The Dementia of Magic by Nicholas Killewald. © Laura Sheana Taylor.
Map drawn for the land of the webcomic The Dementia of Magic by Nicholas Killewald.
Map drawn for a now-defunct roleplaying game, Lycoria, at Speculative Vision.

Original map of the part of the world where Sign of the Star takes place. I'll be revising this soon.
Map of Takara, a world that hope to one day come back to, but not for some time, because I want to do its stories justice when I do.

Sketch-map for a friend for an abandoned project of his. I like drawing contour lines, can you tell?
So, yeah. Maps are fun. *grins* Back with those previously-promised notes later this week!


  1. I envy your mapmaking skills. Really. Both for writing, as well as RL when I get lost in the woods (once while collecting an endangered plant and I have NO clue where we were :)

  2. Excellent work. I love maps of all types. I still have several that need finishing for my first book. And yes, this passion will probably stay with you a very long time.

  3. Wow. You're map making skills are remarkable! I usually just make a couple sketches for any story I make... but they look so childish in comparison to yours. Congrats on finishing NaNo earlier, that's quite an achievement.

  4. Um. Your maps are awesome.

    Congrats on Nano and congrats on your requests!